My Talk With Tanya Wright

By Alma Hill

 

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Tanya Wright is a woman at peace.

When I met her for our interview, she was relaxed, her curly hair pulled high in a messy ponytail. As she invited me in, I noticed she was barefoot, and she exuded a very comfortable sense of confidence.

A professional actress, Tanya has a very impressive resume under her belt. You may recognize from her role on the award winning Netflix Original Series Orange Is the New Black, where she plays Crystal Burset, the wife of transgender woman Sophia Burset, (played by Laverne Cox). If prison dramedies aren’t your style, you may have caught Tanya on True Blood where she plays Deputy Kenya Jones. These credits are just two small selections on a long list of lucrative achievements.

These days, Tanya is working on a major project of her own: Hairiette of Harlem. A kind of combination venture, Wright describes Hairette of Harlem as a lifestyle brand instead of simply a hair care line. The brand includes three parts- a book written by Wright, titled “I Found God in My Hair”, a web series titled “Hairiette of Harlem”, and finally a hair care line.

“I hope to create a community where women are connected to their hair in a fun and insightful way with all of these things I’ve created around it.” She said. “I’m interested in the spiritual opportunity that our hair presents. That and the fun and playful aspects of our hair.”

A spiritual woman, Tanya asserts that gaining control of her hair really helped her gain control of her life. “Everything makes sense. I just felt like everything got on track.”

After reading Curly Like Me by Teri LaFlesh, Tanya did the Big Chop in 2010, and hasn’t looked back since. Like most of us, she’s had her struggles but she learned from them.

“I think there are three things that are very important for people.” She said “One is to get a good cut so that your hair, in its natural state can lay in a way that looks uniform and healthy. Obviously moisture is a huge thing. And keeping your hair shiny, is a huge thing. A lot of us have hair that can get really dull really quickly, so having products that keep your hair shiny is very important”

When asked what her favorite products were, Tanya referred back to her upcoming line of hair products which will be included in the Hairiette of Harlem brand. “It’s just born out of people asking me what I put in my hair. So I tolf them. I don’t use shampoos or anything like that” The Shea and Olive oil based line will includes a Co Wash, a Curl Cream, and an Oil Blend and is set for release in early 2015 so make sure to keep an eye out for that.

The book, I Found God In My Hair, is already available for purchase. Based on Wright’s own hair care journey, I Found God outlines 98 lessons that Tanya learned during her natural hair journey that helped her grow mentally and spiritually.

The web series in the works, also titled Hairiette of Harlem, Wright describes as a mockumentary of her life. “Its based on my early days of being an actress and all that I learned from my hair.” she says.

Wrapping up the interview with a quick snapshot, I was practically out the door before I remembered that I forgot to ask the quintessential natural hair question.

“Oh! What’s your hair type?”

Tanya laughed.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t even pay attention to things like that.”

“So just whatever works?” I pressed

She smiled. It was a knowing smile, a kind smile, as though the lessons she has learned, her journey, both physically and spiritually, and her growth were things she somehow knew, I had yet to face.

“Mmmhm.” She said “Have a good night.”

Make sure to check out Hairiette.com for news on upcoming appearances, news, and release dates.

 

tanya and i

 

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How to Make a Hairstyle Last

By MahoganyCurls

How to Make a Hairstyle Last

Hi Guys!

Today I will be sharing a few tips on how you can extend the life of your hairstyle. Most of us are so busy that we do not have time to fully restyle our hair during the week. It is too time consuming and spending hours on our  hair is not apart of the plan. Lately, I have been extremely busy. The busiest I have been my entire life! We are preparing for a move to another state (California), I am still in school pursing my Masters degree (I only have two classes left! Yay!!!!!!!!) and of course my little one, he will be going to the 2nd grade this year.

With that said, I do not have time to do everything that I would like to do with my hair, so I made it a little easier on my myself for the time being. This is what I like to do:

- Cowash and deep condition once a week.

Doing this will allow me to have more time during the week to take care of other things.

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-I like to use a small amount of product (styler) on my hair after I cowash.

This is one of the most important steps. The reason why I do not use a lot of product after cowashing (meaning I am not heavy handed with it) is because I will be adding more product to my hair during the week. You do not want to get buildup from applying too much product.

-Allowing it to dry completely before going to bed.

Allowing your hair to dry completely will not only extend the life of your hair, it will also prevent the dreaded F word. Frizz.

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-I avoid touching it too much during the day.

Touching your hair too much can lead to frizz. Remember you want to preserve your hairstyle.

-Protect your hair at night.

Always sleep on a satin pillowcase, or in a satin bonnet or scarf. It will prevent your hair from drying out while sleeping on your pillow. Cotton pillowcases absorb moisture. Great for your body and keeping you cool,bad for your hair.

-I like to restyle my hair mid week.

Now that I am doing so much, I like to cleanse my hair and scalp on Sunday. Again, I apply a very small amount of styling product. On Wednesday, I will lightly spritz my hair with water or a detangling spray (I like to use SheaMoisture’s Curl and Shine Mist) and apply my product of choice.

Tip: I prefer to stick with the same product line during the entire week. Some products (from different brands) work well together. On the other hand, I have experienced other products not mixing well. As a result, I will get dull hair with a ton of buildup (you know, the white stuff we all hate). But it is totally up to you!

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Tip 2: Apply the mid week product lightly. Once you lightly sprtiz your hair with water or your detangling spray of choice, it is basically reactivating the product you had in your hair previously. It is ideal to add a small amount of product to your hair because you are layering your styler of choice on top of the product you had in your hair prior. I hope this makes sense ;).

Once you do this you should repeat the previous steps. No touching;allowing your to dry completely.

And there you have it! Your hair should be good as new without the extremely long styling session.

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By the way, mid week styling usually takes me about 10-15 minutes. :)

I would love to hear how you make your favorite hairstyle last! Chime in!  Oh yeah! Check out this tutorial if you would like to see how I actually do this.

Until next time…

xoxo,

Jess

 Hair in photos: Twistout on an old wash n go (7 day old) using SheaMoisture’s Curl and Shine Mist and Curling Gel Soufflé.

Jae’s Hair with Simple Care

 By Tiki

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Hey loves! Please allow me to introduce my daughter Jae as I share her hair care regimen.

 

I stand by the KISS method, my self-proclaimed hair method, when it comes to managing Jae’s hair. The KISS method is “keeping it so simple,” which is exactly what I do on a daily basis. Over the years, Jae’s hair has transformed and grown to the point that I’ve had to learn how to grow with it. This has caused me to learn what products work by trial and error, which hairstyles are appropriate for certain weather, which styles last longer and more. Learning these things didn’t happen overnight, but I knew it was important for me to learn how to properly care for her hair. Below I will explain the things I do that I believe has aided in Jae’s hair journey.

 

1. Low Manipulation and Protective Styling: I try to create styles that don’t require much manipulation. You will typically see Jae’s hair in a low manipulation style or a protective style. Our usual styles include two strand twists, braids, plaits, buns, and flat twists. When her ponytails begin to look old after a few days, I tighten the rubber bands at the root rather than combing and redoing the entire twist. I do this so that the hair looks neater which gives an older style a fresher look.

 

2. Shampooing when Necessary: I shampoo only when necessary. If I see buildup or if her hair begins to smell, that is my indicator that it is time to wash. I try to wash her hair while it is twisted or braided because this is much easier than washing it when it’s loose. On average, I wash Jae’s hair about once a month. I use paper towels to dry her hair as I’ve learned that using towels put lint back into the hair.

 

3. Finger Combing: I prefer using my fingers to detangle Jae’s kinky coily hair. I’m not against combs, but I believe my fingers give me more control in terms of feeling the knots and tangles and I am able to remove them with ease rather than combing them out! I have saved tons of hair by gently using my fingers to remove tangles!

 

4. Manage Hair When Moist: Manipulating dry hair can be very damaging. I prefer misting Jae’s hair with our spray bottle filled with water, oil, and sometimes conditioner—depending on the bottle we use. This helps me to detangle her hair with more ease.

 

5. Mommy’s in Charge: I know what’s going on because I do her hair! Jae has visited a professional stylist about six times. I am not against letting anyone else do her hair, but I like to know what’s going on in case something goes wrong. If I am the primary person who manages her hair, I am ultimately responsible and the finger points to me in the event something is out the ordinary.

 

6. Less is best: You will rarely see Jae wearing tons of tiny hair bows. I love this look but I think it can weigh the hair down and cause breakage in some instances. #DontJudge

 

7. Toddler Phase, Same Thang! Again, I really KISS! When Jae was younger I would mainly keep her hair in puffs. I just didn’t see the need of overdoing it with excessive styling and manipulation.

 

8. Lay off the Scissors: It is said that children go through a phase in which they take matters into their own hands. Hopefully Jae has outgrown this curiosity! I’ve talked to her several times about cutting her hair. Oddly, the reason I had this conversation is because people around her would and still say things like “Oooh give me some of that hair. Imma cut it!” So it became important to me to instil in her that NO, you will not cut your hair at school or anywhere else until you are grown! I’ve also taught her how to move hanging hairs from her face and put them behind her ear or in a ponytail. I’ve had some parents tell me that their daughters would remove these hanging hairs with scissors!

 

9. Night Care: Bonnets and/or scarves protect the hair in many ways and can definitely preserve a next day hairstyle. I’ve taught Jae the importance of ensuring her bonnet is on. I often awake through the night to ensure it has not come off in her sleep.

 

As you can see, I really KISS! I believe by doing so has caused Jae’s hair to grow as rapidly and healthy as it has. Parents often ask me for tips and advice for their little ones. I know everyone is different but my advice is to be attentive to your child’s or children’s hair care needs. Learning what to do may not come over night, so don’t give up; it takes time. Just be prepared to grow with the ever-changing needs and embrace it!

 

How do you care for your child’s hair? Are you patient? Share your tips with us!

 

Until next time!

Xoxo-Tiki

 

 

 

Stress and Natural Tresses: 4 Tips for handling Natural Hair under pressure

By Alma

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We’ve all been there. Maybe it was the time you had that huge test to study for so you could finally pass that class and graduate. Or maybe it was the time you worried because your dead end job just wasn’t doing it anymore. Whatever the situation, we all suffer from times of extreme stress at some point.
Unfortunately, when you’re stressed, often times it’s difficult to handle the tedium of prepping that twist out, and moisturizing your ends just doesn’t seem that important compared to everything else you’ve got going on. However, this stress induced neglect can only lead to one thing: unnecessary damage to your strands.

In light of my own trials and tribulations I’ve come up with a few tips to help all of us in the most trying of times.

1. Deep Condition…NOW.

Chances are, when you’ve got a lot on your mind, keeping your hair and your ends moisturized may seem like an unwanted chore. Recognizing this, deep conditioning will help your hair by giving it that added boost of moisture it’ll need in the days to come. This way, if you skip a day or two in your regimen, the deep conditioning treatment you did beforehand will help bridge these gaps. However, make sure you don’t over moisturize your strands. If you’ve done a deep conditioning treatment very recently, you should be cautious with this step, or just do a very good co-wash instead.

 

2. Scarves: The Wonder Accessory.

I treat scarves like most women treat shoes. They’re beautiful and I love how versatile they can be. When I’m going through a rough patch, my scarves make for a quick hair solution. Intricate styling in times of stress is time consuming, and depending on the situation you’re dealing with, can be plain out aggravating. By putting your hair up in a super simple protective style like cornrows or two strand twists, you can use a long scarf and a few rubber bands to still rock some amazing head gear without the hassle of putting your hands in your hair. For some variety, throw on a fedora, or a cute cap to channel some neo soul like swag.

 

3. Long Term Protective Styling – Your secret weapon.

If you’re going through something that may take a while to work itself out, realize there has never been a better time to go ahead and try those Poetic Justice Braids you saw on Instagram last week. While styles like this do cost money, they investment is well worth the protection you’re offering your hair. Getting braids or a sew in allows for low manipulation of your strands and gives you the peace of mind you may need to cope with your stress. Hundreds of naturalistas swear that this kind of protective styling promotes faster hair growth as well. Just make moisturize often!


4. Back away from the clippers!

Ladies, we all make mistakes, but cutting your hair under pressure is NOT one that can be reversed easily. Frustration may take its toll on your mentality, but taking that frustration out on your hair isn’t fair to you or all the hard work you’ve but in to maintain it. Dyeing, cutting, or any other irreversible changes should be avoided like the plague while you’re dealing with stress. You should reserve decisions like this for when you have a clear mind, and can think rationally. Most decisions made in a hasty moment of impulsion either result in regret or embarrassment, or if you’re really unlucky, both.

Natural Beauty Spotlight: Meet Lisa

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What is your name? 

Lisa

How long have you been natural?

15 years, but I consider myself a “renewed natural” because in the last 15 years most of that time has been spent wearing straight styles (weaves or flat irons). However, after giving birth to my son last summer I experienced a ton of postpartum shedding, and rather than deal with it, I just sewed it all up under a weave. Now I’m dealing with terrible heat damage and thin edges. I’m hoping that re-embracing my natural hair and all of her glory will bring about much needed change, phsyically and emotionally. 

Did you big chop?  Did you transition? If so, how long?

I transitioned, it was 99, there was no such thing as “big chop” ….so I continued to simply flat iron my roots to match my length. No damage either. crazy, huh?

What is your favorite go-to hairstyle?

I’m so lazy I usually pin up the sides and do a low ponytail or bun.

How do you maintain your hair at night?

At night I lightly spritz  my hair with a mix of aloe vera juice and water. Seal with shea butter, braid, and then cover with a satin scarf.

What is your morning routine?

Unbraid and style according to how my hair wants to behave that day. 

What are your favorite natural hair products?

Aloe Vera juice and water as a daily moisture spritz and my ends love shea butter and castor oil for sealing. As far as a styling agent I’m STILL on the hunt for something that can provide soft hold. I’m currently using Olive Oil Eco Styler gel.

My favorite Shampoo to wash out all of the gunk is the Trader Joe’s brand tea tree oil shampoo. It’s like $4 for a big bottle and it’s ALL natural.  

What is your weekly regimen?

Every 10 days or so I do a coconut oil/honey pree poo mask. I cowash all of that out with a Shea Moisture CoWash, and follow up with a daily conditioner. I rinse it all clean with a ACV rinse. I don’t have time for deep conditioner, so I rely on my preepoo mask to do all of that for me.

What is your natural hair goal?

My natural hair goal is to figure out a way to retain length without resorting to weaves. I love a good weave, trust me, It’s great to give your hair a break during the winter months, but it would be great to be able to figure out a way to grow  my hair JUST as long and JUST as fast as I do with a weave, without a weave. If that makes sense.

Have you inspired others to go natural?

I don’t know, but I hope so. I’ve only been a “renewed natural” for a few weeks so we’ll see!

 
 
Social Media Links:
Blog:
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Natural Beauty Spotlight: Meet Jayda!

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What is your name?

Jayda

How long have you been natural?

1 year and 2 months

Did you big chop?  Did you transition? If so, how long? Are you currently transitioning?

I transitioned for one year before I did the big chop.

What is your favorite go-to hairstyle?

my favorite go-to hairstyle is a “wash and go”

How do you maintain your hair at night?

I maintain my hair at night by using the pineapple method, and putting a satin bonnet on it.

What is your morning routine?

After taking my hair out of the pineapple, I fluff it and go!

What are your favorite natural hair products?

Curls “Goddess Curls”, Curls “Creme Brulee”  Ecostyler Olive Oil Gel, Shea Moisture “African Black Soap” Line

What is your weekly regimen?

Every Sunday, I co-wash using Suave or shampoo using Shea Moisture African Black Soap (once a month), deep condition, steam, and style with either a wash and go or twist out while doing the pineapple at night. My style usually lasts me the entire week.

What is your natural hair goal?

My goal is to maintain healthy hair while reaching my hair length goal of 20 inches.

Have you inspired others to go natural?

Yes, I have inspired my mother as well as multiple co-workers to go natural! I’m still working on my older sister lol but I have a feeling she won’t budge!

*I recently started a natural hair youtube page, J.Lynn , and I would love for MahoganyCurls® Official readers to subscribe to my very new page!*

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Ana and her Daughter

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From Ana:

Here is a pic on me and me daughter ( I am teaching her to love her hair so she never have to feel like she needs to change it to fit in).

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Natural Beauty Spotlight: Meet Allyson

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What is your name? 

Allyson

How long have you been natural?

1 year and 1 month!

Did you big chop?  Did you transition? If so, how long? Are you currently transitioning?

I decided to big chop back in June of 2013. After sitting in my house for hours watching natural hair videos on YouTube, I decided to get up and do it as soon as my husband went home. I went to Great Clips and the rest is history!

What is your favorite go-to hairstyle?

My favorite go-to hairstyle is a twist out. I’m slowly falling in love with a wash-and-go with my new hair products!

How do you maintain your hair at night?

It depends on if I’m feeling lazy or not (lol)! Sometimes I’ll just go to sleep. Other times I put a satin cap on. 

What is your morning routine?

If I’ve washed my hair 1-3 days ago, I won’t wash it. I’ll just use my wide tooth comb and lift it at the root to bring back the life. Other times, I’ll either co-wash in the middle of the week and shampoo and condition at the end of the week or if I’ve sweated a lot during the week. 

What are your favorite natural hair products?

I tell the world about Shea Moisture, no matter what color or hair type! I love it. BUT I’ve just found the PERFECT conditioner for my hair. It’s L’Occitane Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner. I found it at the Four Season Hotel and the things it did to my hair was amazing. The curl definition and the length of my curls was amazing!

What is your weekly regimen?

I usually always wash my hair (shampoo and conditioner) on either Saturday or Sunday. Monday and Tuesday, I’ll spray with my magic water bottle (conditioner and water) to keep it moisturized. By Wednesday or Thursday, I just co-wash, and if I’m in the mood I’ll two-strand twist my hair that night after it’s air dried. Then by Saturday or Sunday, I start all over again!

What is your natural hair goal?

Right now, my natural hair goal is to see what grows out of my scalp and what I look like with natural hair. It sounds crazy, but since I was 5 or 6, I’ve had relaxers in my hair. So I’ve never known what MY hair, the stuff that’s meant to come out of my scalp looks like. So I’m just along for the ride, enjoying what’s going on with my hair (lol).

Have you inspired others to go natural?

I have done a lot of persuasive speaking about natural hair to a few transitioners I know of, but many just aren’t ready for it. Not many are ready to just chop it all off like I did. But I do plant natural hair bugs in many people’s ears, by simply being natural. People like my hair so much, I’ve been asked once or twice if I was wearing a wig… yeah I didn’t like that too much!

Check me out at @FromMissToMrs on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter! I’m a newlywed, so I talk a lot about marriage, relationships, and Jesus. Check out my blog too! Chronicles of a Young Wife at http://frommiss2mrs1.wordpress.com/ 

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Real Estate Pitfalls: Learned the Hard Way

By Tiki

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I believe knowledge is power. Any opportunity I have to share my experience(s) with others, especially if it can make a difference in someone’s decision making, I am game for it! A few years ago I made the decision to dabble into real estate. However, there were some situations I just wasn’t prepared for that I would like to share with you in hopes to better prepare you if real estate is something you’re interested in. I want to preface by saying that these are things I encountered and I’m sharing from my experience.

  1. The seller’s realtor does not represent you: As I was shopping for my property, I didn’t take into consideration that the person I was talking to on the other end of the phone was representing the seller only. The realtor was very knowledgeable and shared information with me, but she only disclosed certain information. Going into the situation with a limited knowledgebase, my competency level was narrow and some questions I just didn’t know to ask. Had I been more familiar with the buying and selling process, I would have asked more in-depth questions. Now that I know what I know, I still don’t believe I would have hired a realtor to represent me, but I would have handled the seller’s realtor differently and not taken their every word as face value. (Will discuss more in #2 and #3)
  2. Ask for what you want. Don’t limit yourself! The seller’s realtor informed me that her client was willing to come down on the asking price a little. Of course she didn’t tell me what the range was, but she did remind me to not insult him. That being said, I only asked for $5000.00 less than the asking price, but later learned that I could have asked for more. There were a few minor things I asked the seller to do prior to closing, but I didn’t want to come across bothersome and insult him, like his realtor said, so I kept it at a minimum. Knowing what I now know, next time I will ask for everything I want whether major or minor; the only thing the seller can say is no. In my situation I learned to not let the realtor make an assumption for their seller. True the realtor represents their seller, but only the seller knows what s/he is willing to do; so let them decide and just be ready to counter-offer if necessary. Bottom line is—only you know your budget and your limitations so don’t let the realtor dictate that for you.
  3. Verify that all work has been done: There are many things that should be discussed prior to closing on your property. I knew the property I was interested in was listed for a good price, and I knew that there were a few repairs that needed to be done. I negotiated this work in addition to lowering the seller’s asking price. The mistake I made, however, was verifying that the work had actually been accomplished. So as I was on my way to the attorney’s office to close on the property, the realtor (seller’s realtor) called to tell me that these “negotiated items” were being done as we speak. Much to my dismay, I returned to my property after closing to find that a “half tail” job was done. I called the realtor but due to me signing, I had basically agreed that the work was done as she assured it was. Wouldn’t you know that the contractor didn’t return to finish the job and the realtor stopped answering my calls?
  4. Do your research: (My strength right here lol) Purchasing property is an investment. Just like any other investment, you have to do your research and use due diligence. This involves a number of things including: researching the area, looking at property taxes, contacting the tax and assessor’s office, whether there is a lien, looking at how long the property has been listed and how many times the listing price has dropped. To me, the length of time the property has been listed and the declination in the listing price reveals whether the seller is anxious to sell or not. An anxious seller will most likely come down off the listing price.

So there you have it! I hope sharing my experience helps you. This list is not all inclusive but is some of the things I learned. I’m happy to share more should you have direct questions. Currently, I manage the properties I speak of, so if you have questions about property management, I’ll gladly share that information as well. After all, sharing is caring!

So now, what mistakes did you make when purchasing? Were you an expert from the beginning?

 

xoxo-Tiki

Do I Need You To Like My Natural Hair?

By Sabrina

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Really the question should be do I need ANYONE to like my hair?  I guess that is a question only each person could answer and you might get more than a simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  So, as I pose this question to you I will be the first to answer…..No, I don’t but when I first went Natural I truly did.

I’m an older Natural.  It might not seem like a big deal to some of younger women out here proudly strutting around with their Natural tresses but we are not in the same place. I’m 40 about to turn 41 in a couple of months and I can say with all truthfulness that I am not all that confident with everything in my life. I said all of that to make you understand why going Natural was extremely hard for me.  No, I didn’t have a bad perm experience but we moved from a humid climate to a dry one so I stopped perming.

I did wear wigs, weaves and braids for the first three years.  I got tired of all that well into the third year but was too insecure to go full blown Natural and embrace my tresses.  I’ve always loved my daughter’s natural coily curls but assumed my hair would never do that.  I knew my hair would coil up when wet so I figured I start with wetting in the shower and trying hair products that keep the coils going.

That first day going to work with freshly wet hair one day in October 2008 was one of the scariest days in my life.  I was out and exposed.  I was unsure of myself and my hair.  No point in denying it.  I hadn’t seen anyone wearing their hair Natural in Denver or not too many at least so I was out on a lonely limb.

One of the most fashionable women in my office was in LOVE with my hair!  She really made me feel 100% better.  I got many more compliments that day as and as the day wore on my fears began to fade. Not completely but enough for me to realize I could do this.

I’m a proud, strong, out-spoken Black woman but that doesn’t mean I don’t have fears and worries and insecurities.  I needed someone to like my hair.  Am I really proud of that fact?  No, but it is what it is.  As the days turned into weeks that eventually turned into months I became more comfortable with my Natural hair.  I learned what products to use to make the coily curls pop and I soon learned my daughter got her hair from me!  Who knew?

It’s funny how it took me 35 years to learn what gorgeous hair I had naturally growing out of my head and I was damaging it with chemicals.  If you are willing you actually can learn something new everyday.